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Showing posts from August, 2012

Non-Aligned Movement meets in Iran

The Japan Council against A and H Bombs (Gensuikyo) has sent the following message to the 16th Summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, meeting in Tehran, Iran from 26 to 31 August 2012. Hiroshi TAKA, representative director of Gensuikyo, presented the message in person.

On the occasion of the 16th summit of Heads of State or Government of the Non-Aligned Movement, we extend warmest greetings of solidarity to you, and through you to the people each of you represent, from the movement against atomic and hydrogen bombs working in Japan, the only A-bombed country in the world.

During the period of the Cold War, which followed the end of World War Two, the Non-aligned Movement played the key role in establishing a peaceful and just world order based on the UN Charter, by opposing the division of the world by military blocs and the nuclear arms race, and firmly promoting non-alignment, national independence and sovereignty, th…


The cover picture of The Spokesman (no.117) was entitled 'Jeju Moon' by its photographer, Bruce Gagnon. Jeju Island, in the Korea Strait, is something of a paradise, as Esther Koohan Paik describes in this new issue. Paradise is threatened by the construction of a huge new naval base to provide port facilities for US Navy ships which carry the AEGIS ballistic missile defence system, a substantial additon to US 'Star Wars' capacity. In this issue, Bruce describes how, after repeated test failures, the US missile defence architecture is becoming more effective; a development which pressures Russia and China greatly as they feel increasingly encircled by US military facilities. However, the residents of Jeju Island have different ideas for the future of their island, as this new seven-minute video makes clear. Bruce provides his own commentary:

Copies of The Spokesman 117 can be bought online

August 2012 Letter


Dear friends, hello

After weeks of complete absence from your screens, and the cascade of events occuring during this time, this mail might take the charachter of a letter, more than that of a brief Paragraph dispatch. We will deal here with many news, starting with the ... weather here: horendously hot; the hottest summer we remember since we were doing national service in the Navy, way back then, 1988 ...

We do not intend to talk about the weather, albeit with all those rapid (and worrisome) developments in Syria one could be easily tempted to do just that ... Incidentally, this ("talking about the weather") is what most political parties do in Greece regarding Syria, and possibly with with good reason. Given the terrible socioeconomic straits Greece is now going through (whose effect is mirrored in the apprehension one discerns in every Greek, of all social strada and persuassions) many a politician know that anything they say on this matter might affect the…


6 August 2012

In October, it will be fifty years since the Cuban Missile Crisis, known as the ‘October Crisis’ in Cuba, and the ‘Caribbean Crisis’ in Russia. During those days in 1962, the United States and Soviet Union came closer to conflict than at any other time. It has been described as the worst week of the Cold War.

That the conflict did not erupt probably has quite a lot to do with the legacy of Hiroshima and Nagasaki. The suffering of those cities and their hibakusha was indelibly etched on the consciousness of the post-war generation. One prominent member of that generation, Robert McNamara, was US Defence Secretary from 1961 to 1968. Decades later, in 2005, he observed that:

Much of the current US nuclear policy has been in place since before I was secretary of defence, and it has only grown more dangerous and diplomatically destructive in the intervening years.

Mr McNamara then assessed the average modern US warhead as having a destructive power 20 times that of the Hiroshi…